Local Heart, Global Soul

April 30, 2014

Trying To Inspire Them To The Love Of The Flowing Line…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s the evening that Little Mr. is away from home for a sleepover.  As per yesterday’s post Himself, Kiwi Daughter and I availed ourselves of the opportunity of eating out without “the fussy one”  and later, meal enjoyed and back home, Kiwi Daughter wants to do a family activity with Himself and I.

More specifically she wants to have a drawing competition. She’s got a book that shows you the basic steps to draw cartoon style figures and wants too see which of the three of us can do it best.

My heart sinks: I’m a detail fanatic and whilst I studied graphic art, I hated the module we did on cartooning.

We used to be set the brief: the cartoon would be judged by our use of as few lines as possible. I could never resist adding a few extra line here, there and well …everywhere.

I ask Kiwi Daughter if we could maybe just draw an object in the room instead. “Later” came the reply, first a few cartoons.

I explain that if you want to gain confidence as an artist then learning to “see” an object and then to transfer the knowledge of what you are seeing onto the paper is something that only practice can perfect. Copying someone else’s work doesn’t teach you the skill of how to represent something yourself.  Kiwi Daughter imagines herself to be arty, but rarely practices drawing at all. ” Too much work” she says. I don’t understand this at all, if you love to draw then surely it’s not “work”, it’s pleasure isn’t it?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The cartoons to be copied are chosen and we have a time limit so set to work. The first cartoon is a lady based on the form of an “omgekeered druppel” (upside down droplet) and the second is of a man based on the form of a “boon” (bean).

I think that the results between us were very even, there were few lines and the instructions were easy.

Kiwi Daughter then insisted on one more cartoon from the book, but I could choose which one. I choose a complex one because I want to get her away from her comfort zone of the most simple drawings.

Kiwi Daughter quickly gives up saying that her effort looks like a robot and Himself says his looks like an angry old lady. Mine is less of a success too, I’ve made her too long in the face and not wide enough.

Now we proceed to drawing something in the room.

Complex items like furniture are swiftly vetoed by Himself and Kiwi Daughter who demand something really simple please… I have a box of drawing pencils, how about we each take one and draw that? In the end I’m designated as the winner, but it doesn’t really count because I studied practical art back in my school days.

More important were the squeals of exclamation as the attempts were made, the giggles and the fun of a little competitive spirit. Next time we will do it again with Little Mr. taking part too and maybe slowly but surely I can get them inspired to draw for the love of the flowing line…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself’s effort…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi’s effort…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter’s pencil…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then Himself’s…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then mine…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)



March 9, 2013

Mama Mia! My My, Here We Go Again!…

Last Saturday Kiwi Daughter was trying to get five subjects worth of homework done so that she could go on a sleepover at a friend’s place.

For various reasons most sleep-over’s take place at our place so this was bit of a special occasion for Kiwi Daughter and she was motivated to actually try and work rather than spend the morning procrastinating.  Himself was juggling  taking Little Mr. to his sports game, then dropping him back home, leaving again to go grocery shopping, running errands and getting gear ready for the other activity Little Mr. attends on Saturdays.

I was helping Kiwi Daughter organise herself, make sense of homework instructions and giving her examples of the maths questions and explaining the method behind them, whilst avoiding her skilful traps set to try and get me to give her actual answers to the real questions she was supposed to complete. She knew that her presence at the sleep-over wasn’t guaranteed unless she completed the work so she was really trying her best.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself’s schedule was tight:  he was to deliver two kids to  two parts of the city at almost the same time as he also had an appointment to drop off urgent paperwork to a client that he’d gotten up early to complete earlier that morning.

All was well until 40 minutes before Kiwi Daughter was due to be whisked out the door… she had strict instructions from Himself  to be ready on time but was struggling with French.

This is how I ended up  busy packing  her overnight things for her whilst keeping up a running debate with said child who was forcefully telling me that the French word for “school”  is  “collage” and who was adamant that I was sooo wrong when I told her that perhaps ” l’ école” might be a more suitable word.

She reluctantly believed me when I shoved a French dictionary under her nose and jabbed a finger at the entry that showed her that maybe her Mama did possess a few working brain cells after all, and then probably as to avoid any possibility of admitting this fact, she changed the subject abruptly by telling me that today was also sleep-over-girl’s Birthday and what did we have that could be given as a Birthday gift?

The short answer was a stunned “um… nothing”,  we don’t just keep a supply of  random gifts laying around, we usually get something specific for the someone when we have an idea of what they might want. Time was ticking away and so I telephoned sleep-over-girl’s mother and asked advice, knowing that springing another errand into Himself’s tight schedule wasn’t going to be met with unbounded enthusiasm.

Luckily Himself avoided that extra stress when I was told that the Birthday Girl was saving for a week away in Italy in the Summer with her Mama and so a small amount of pocket money would be most welcome.

I had a brainwave…  Last year I’d bought a little die cutter that cut out shapes that folded into little boxes that looked like Pizza boxes… and I had just one of them already cut out, in a box of craft stuff stashed away.  Leaving Kiwi Daughter to wade through the French dictionary on her own, I rummaged around for the box and then grabbed some thin felt pens. Quickly the little box gained a sketch  of a slice of pizza that I filled out with the colours.

I added a flag and made up a banner pizza company name  and voila! my little piece of card was now a gift box.  I slapped it onto a dinner plate to take it’s photo and then cash inside, wrapped it in gift paper and was in time to shove it into Kiwi Daughter’s hand as she flew down the stairs to the waiting car. Phew… that’s the way I seem to get my most recent artwork done these days: power scribbling as the clock ticks…

December 22, 2012

I NEED a Giraffe …And You Have Less Than Five Minutes

Filed under: A sketching Journey,ART,Kids and Family — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

“CC”  a fellow blogger from “Slightly out of sync…”  inspired this post by showing me this one:


I mean how often can it be is that someone posts a giraffe drawing,  just short while after you’ve been asked for a drawing of a Giraffe ?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Actually “ask” isn’t quite how it happened: it was more of a demand and Little Mr was in no mood to wait for patient studies and careful detail since for whatever reason, he “needed” his giraffe sketch quickly.

He hovered impatiently bouncing up and down from one foot to another whilst I used Google Images and typed in “giraffe” to remember what the spots looked like (and the face and the ears and the…)  and after a quick scan of the page a stubby finger went out with an order “That One!”.

I suggested  a different one (because it looked easier to draw since it was in profile)… Nope nothing doing,  here he was with  pen and paper and a totally expectant look on his face that his mother could surely deliver the goods. (sigh)

At least I know that Little Mr’s artistic standards are low enough that there will be no criticism. One good thing at least.

The rough sketch is barely taking shape when his small voice says “finish it quick because I need to colour it in”… and this is when the truth emerges that they are due to visit the zoo and he confesses that he’s supposed to have done a drawing in his book already himself.

He’s now annoyed that I did this on a piece of paper and not directly into the book. I tell him he may copy mine but that he needs to do is own homework. Himself appears and clarifies matters, it’s not homework apparently,  just extra decoration and the kids could have cut a picture out of a magazine if they had wanted to.

Strangely enough we do not happen to have magazines laying around containing images of giraffes. Ok, then no problem. I get arms flung around my neck in a spontaneous hug for my efforts with a muffled “Thanks Mama!” from the head buried in my shoulder.

He reluctantly lets me take a photo before he snatches it away and runs off to find a glue-stick.  I have a lot of admiration for CC’s artistic efforts: giraffe’s are  far harder to draw than they look.

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